•About this Yokai•
Akanyūdō - JP:赤入道 - aka "Red Monk"
A large, red bald-headed yokai that appeared from under a Kotatsu in a temple somewhere in Musa, Omi province. This is another yokai from theばけもの絵巻 "bakemono emaki" (same scroll as Yukinba.) -The included story goes a little something like this...
"It was once rumoured that a big monster called 'AkaNyuudo' would appear in the bushes near a temple in Omi Province. One guard who was frequently on patrol around the temple grounds at night, decided that there could be no such monster, he was entirely convinced that it was just a rumour. One night, when the temple was quiet and the man was warming up, relaxing under his Kotatsu after patrolling, he began to doze off.... As the man closed his eyes, he heard a voice echo through air: "So... You think there is no such thing as AkaNyuudo do you?
...Well, I'LL SHOW YOU!!" pulling itself out from the under the heated blanket, the monster suddenly appeared..."
Now, You might be thinking: "well, he doesn't really look very scary. infact he looks kinda goofy!" Well, Incidentally: most Edo period kotatsu where made for one person so they're much smaller than you're imagining: they where put on top of a small hearth which was dug into the floor & covered by a grate & powered by charcoal. – [See last slide, source is fukugawa edo musuem.] - So based on the size, you can imagine why it would be horrifying to have something so unbelievably huge, suddenly pop out from underneath the covers: this yokaiis the epitome of a jack in the box or a Jumpscare.
In case you couldn't tell, the moral of the story was: "Even if it sounds maybe a little absurd, be wary of what others warn you about." -"The thing you're afraid of was actually under the covers the whole time!" is a common horror trope still used in horror & entertainment today, and there are plenty of nearly identical ghost stories about sitting under a Kotatsu as well. (...of course this isn't the first instance of such a tale: "theres a Monsters under my bed" is a tale as old as time.) - If you've ever been sitting alone at night and felt something touch your leg under the blanket, that moment of shock before you realize that it was... actually your pet/sibling/yourself somehow is probably a good comparison....
Sticker Art by @Samkalensky (yo, thats me!) - Part of my Night parade of 100 Demons - Yokai & Japanese folklore sticker collection, weather-resistant 4" Glossy sticker. Check my shop & follow @samkalensky for many more!